Redemption (1917)

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Mrs. Loring (Evelyn Nesbit) has a happy marriage, a charmingly precocious son (Russell Thaw), and a past. Her husband already knows about the affair she had with John Brooks and has accepted it. But Brooks -- who was Mrs. Loring's partner when she was a vaudeville performer -- returns and hounds her. She has him arrested but then withdraws her complaint. A load of scandalous publicity ensues, however, and it kills both Mr. Loring and Mrs. Brooks. Mrs. Loring is left penniless and struggles for a long time until she becomes a successful modiste under an assumed name. The Loring son, now grown, makes friends with the adult Brooks boy, and becomes engaged to the Brooks daughter. But when Brooks finds out who the boy's mother is, he refuses to let his family visit with him anymore. When Loring asks why, Brooks tells him to ask his mother. He does, and Mrs. Loring tearfully explains all. The Brooks and Lorings are reunited when the Loring boy saves Brooks' son from being killed. Russell Thaw, the young boy at the beginning of the picture, was Evelyn Nesbit's son in real life. This was one of many films of a sensational nature that Nesbit did -- they're the type of films one would expect from the former showgirl who became famous after her husband, Harry Thaw, murdered her former lover, architect Stanford White.